Warburg Effect & Lactic Acidosis



By Atom Bergstrom

Atom’s Blog

Confusion outguns common sense when it comes to the Warburg Effect.


Physiologist Otto Warburg (1883-1970) discovered …

1) cancer cells have a high rate of glycolysis followed by LACTIC ACID FERMENTATION

2) compared to normal cells having a low rate of glycolysis followed by oxidation of pyruvate in normal cells


Many confused “alternative health experts” blame sugar for the excess glycolysis.

Then they advise consuming lactic acid directly — eliminating the middle man — by eating fermented foods like …









fermented butter

fermented cod liver oil












sour cream

Tabasco sauce



vinegar (including apple cider vinegar)





Ray Peat (“Lactate vs. CO2 in wounds, sickness, and aging; the other approach to cancer,” 2006-2016) wrote …

“The presence of lactic acid in our tissues is very meaningful, but it is normally treated as only an indicator, rather than as a cause, of biological problems. Its presence in rosacea, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, neurological diseases and cancer has been recognized, and recently it is being recognized that suppressing it can be curative, after fifty years of denial.”


Lactic acid was the Devil back in my Transcendental Meditation days.

I was initiated into TM on Valentine’s Day, 1970, and meditated regularly for a year or two or three.

We meditated to drop the volume of LACTIC ACID — a prime indicator of anxiety.


Small wonder that I marveled at people eating lactic acid foods like yogurt for their “health.”


Shelia Lavery (“The ten secret signs of stress,” Daily Mail, Jun. 21, 2017) wrote …

“The eyelids contain a large number of sensory nerves and they are one of the body’s last areas to relax. Muscular spasms are caused by a build-up of lactic acid. When we’re stressed we breathe badly and lactic acid — a naturally occurring waste product of the body — is not carried away. This can also lead to stiffness in the neck and shoulders.”

Eyelid spasms occur on either the left (male) or right (female) side of the body.

Body Dowsing (Mind Reading For the Millions) relies on these spasms as indicators of Cognitive Shocks.


Daniel Goleman & Tara Bennett-Goleman (“Relieving Stress: Mind Over Muscle,” The New York Times, Sept. 26, 1986) wrote …

“One of the better documented assertions, according to experts, holds that when a muscle is tightened the tension slows blood flow. Normally, the blood washes away the metabolic byproducts of activity. But if the muscle stays tense, it becomes oxygen-starved and metabolites, like lactic acid, build up. The pain receptors in the muscles are sensitive both to shortening of the fibers and to a buildup of metabolites. When these receptors detect such conditions, they send a message of pain to the brain.”


Yes, I’m aware of the fitness gurus who claim lactic acid isn’t a waste product — it’s the desirable burning fuel of a well-trained athlete.

Or those who recommend Lactate Tolerance Training, claiming lactic acid and lactate are not the same.


Today’s fitness gurus are blaming delayed muscle soreness on microscopic muscle tears and trauma rather than the lactic acidosis of yesteryear.

Muscle tears don’t explain the weekend Sufi workshop I attended in 1975.

Adnan Sarhan’s extremely physical workshop/workout started at 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning and ended at 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

My muscles were so sore when I woke up Sunday morning, I thought, “Surely Adnan will take it easier on us today.”

I could barely move from all the excruciating muscle pain when the workshop/workout started again at 10:00 a.m.

Adnan didn’t take it easier on us, and, to my amazement, my muscles gradually became less sore.

They weren’t the least bit sore by the end of the day.


Do I assume that the second day’s exercises healed the microscopic muscle tears and physical trauma?

Or do I think horses not zebras when I hear hoofbeats, and conclude the added exercise washed the lactate out of my muscles?

But I didn’t become “lactate tolerant,” so the phenomena is obviously not a lasting one.


One thing for sure, lactate can stimulate muscle growth.

It does it by stimulating angiogenesis, creating new blood vessels out of existing vessels.

Cancer does this too.


Human growth hormone, nitric oxide, serotonin, and lactic acid/lactate all stimulate angiogenesis and inflammation.

Something to think about.


Thomas N. Seyfried (Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer, 2012) wrote …

“Lactate is basically metabolic waste from the incomplete oxidation of glucose and must be removed from the microenvironment as quickly as possible.”

According to the same source …

“It also appears that Warburg was unaware of possible mitochondrial amino acid fermentation in tumor cells. While O2 exposure of tumor cells can decrease lactate production to some extent, lactate production from glucose is generally higher in tumor cells than in their normal cellular counterparts. Mitochondrial amino acid fermentation provides a possible missing metabolic link in Warburg’s theory. Mitochondrial amino acid fermentation obscures the boundaries between normal respiration and fermentation and can explain much of the controversy surrounding the Warburg theory.”

According to the same source …

“Cancer cells that rely more on glutamine than on glucose for energy production can produce ATP through nonoxidative processes in the mitochondria. It is also important to recognize that glutamine metabolism increases ammonia in the extracellular environment. Ammonia can neutralize extracellular acidity from simultaneous glycolytic lactate production. Caution is therefore necessary in using pH as an indicator of lactate production especially in cancer cells that use glutamine as a major fuel. We prefer to measure lactate production directly rather than use indirect methods such as changes in pH.”

According to the same source …

“Glucose and glutamine interact synergistically to drive tumor cell fermentation. Fermentation is the bioenergetic signature of tumor cells.”

According to the same source …

“Respiration could be greater under lower than higher glucose conditions in some tumor cells especially if glutamine is also available.”


Ray Peat (“Cancer: Disorder and Energy,” 2006-2016) wrote …

“When glutamine enters the Krebs cycle to be used as fuel, this interferes with the ability to oxidize glucose, causing more lactic acid to be formed, contributing to the excitation and increased energy requirement.”

According to the same source …

“There are many people currently recommending fish oil (or other highly unsaturated oils) for preventing or treating cancer, and it has become almost as common to recommend a sugar free diet, ‘because sugar feeds cancer.’ This is often, incorrectly, said to be the meaning of Warburg’s demonstration that cancer cells have a respiratory defect that causes them to produce lactic acid from glucose even in the presence of oxygen. Cancer cells use glucose and the amino acid glutamine primarily for synthetic purposes, and use fats as their energy source; the growth stimulating effect of the ‘essential fatty acids’ (Sueyoshi and Nagao, 1962a; Holley, et al., 1974) shows that depriving a tumor of those fats retards its growth. The great energetic inefficiency of the cancer metabolism, which causes it to produce a large amount of heat and to cause systemic stress, failure of immunity, and weight loss, is because it synthesizes fat from glucose and amino acids, and then oxidizes the fat as if it were diabetic.”

'Warburg Effect & Lactic Acidosis' have 3 comments

  1. June 22, 2017 @ 1:48 pm Atom

    Thomas N. Seyfried (Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer, 2012) wrote …

    “The expression of lactate in the presence of O2 is abnormal and would indicate that the cells are fermenting. The degree of fermentation (lactate production) is positively correlated with the degree of malignant growth.”



  2. June 22, 2017 @ 1:51 pm Atom

    Up N Atom / Hands On Healing / Five Purified Elements (VIDEO) …



    • June 22, 2017 @ 2:27 pm Atom

      Earth = Red
      Water = Orange
      Fire = Yellow
      Air = Green
      Ether = Blue


      Earth = Square (Cube)
      Water = Circle (Sphere)
      Fire = Triangle (Pyramidal Cone)
      Air = Crescent Moon (Semi-Circular Bow)
      Ether = Sun (Diamond) (Dot)


      Earth = Sweet
      Water = Salty
      Fire = Pungent
      Air = Sour
      Ether = Bitter


      Earth = Matter
      Water = Geometry
      Fire = Color
      Air = Light
      Ether = Sound


      Earth = Smell
      Water = Taste
      Fire = Sight
      Air = Touch
      Ether = Hearing


      Earth = Iron Age (Kali Yuga)
      Water = Bronze Age (Krita Yuga)
      Fire = Silver Age (Treta Yuga)
      Air = Gold Age (Dvapara Yuga)
      Ether = Diamond Age (Vajra Yuga)


      Earth = Matter acting on Matter
      Water = Energy acting on Matter
      Fire = Consciousness acting on Matter
      Air = Energy acting on Energy
      Ether = Consciousness acting on Energy


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